While Boston's Hidden Restaurants may not have a ton of diners featured on the site, we do tend to look for diners more often than restaurants in some of the other categories. Why is this? Well, places such as diners, roadside food joints, and the like are often local favorites that aren't well known beyond the neighborhoods in which they reside. Take the Olympian Diner and Restaurant in South Braintree, for instance; this unassuming little spot that has been around for about 30 years is known to nearly everyone within a mile of the place, but it is apparently known to very few outside of Braintree (and perhaps a few of the bordering communities). But for those who do know about the Olympian, it is one of those places where you feel instantly at home, whether you have been there one time or a few hundred times.
The Olympian Diner resides in a rather squat, plain-looking building in the heart of South Braintree Square, just a short distance west of Route 3. A small parking lot sits off to the left of the restaurant, though the lot isn't a truly crucial feature since street parking really isn't much of a problem in the square. The Olympian's interior feels a little more comfortable than that of Ashley's, a breakfast spot one block north, mainly because the seating is a bit more spaced apart, with rows of booths on the left and right and another row of tables and chairs in the middle of the squarish room. A counter with several seats can also be found toward the back of the Olympian, near the kitchen entrance.
As is the case with so many diners, much of The Olympian's business comes in the morning, but the restaurant also features lunch seven days a week and (unlike Ashley's) dinner on weekdays. Breakfasts include some wonderfully fluffy pancakes, thick pieces of French toast (with the sweet and savory honey cinnamon French toast being the pick here), English muffin sandwiches overloaded with fried eggs and bacon, three-egg omelets with a variety of fillings, delicious homemade oatmeal, eggs benedict with rich-tasting poached eggs, buttery home fries cooked until a golden brown, and a stick-to-your-ribs house-made corned beef hash that is relatively light on the onions and potatoes and heavy on the corned beef. Lunch items include too many sandwiches to mention here (if you like turkey clubs, the Olympian has a good one), delicious shish kebab sandwiches that come with homemade Greek dressing, and a few salads and cold plates. Dinners include some pretty substantial entrees, including deliciously sweet fried scallops, a heaping helping of fried clams, a 14-ounce strip steak, broiled lamb chops, charcoal broiled chicken, liver and onions, broiled swordfish, and shrimp cacciatore. A children's menu is also offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prices are very reasonable at the Olympian, with all items being well under $20.
As mentioned in our review of Ashley's, it is often difficult to choose between that restaurant and the Olympian Diner, mainly because both are cheap, quick, and friendly places. If you are having a really tough time making a decision, there are two areas in which the Olympian is your obvious choice, however: Dining in relative comfort and having dinner on a weeknight. Otherwise, flip a coin and go to the place that wins, as you really can't go wrong with either.
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